WATCH: #YouthDay - 16-year old's app chosen as game of the day

By Zeenat Vallie Time of article published Jun 15, 2018

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CAPE TOWN - Sixteen-year-old Brandon Kynoch’s app, Torus has been chosen as game of the day on the App Store (Apple) in 137 App Stores worldwide.  

Kynoch who has been programming since the age of 13 said he always had a huge interest in technology. The young programmer and app developer who is completely self-taught initially possessed a keen interest in graphic design and digital art. However, he later picked up an interest in programming. 

“I realized that game development is the perfect combination of art and programming. Ever since I’ve been developing games purely for the fun of it, and to improve my skills. I would now like to develop my one-man studio “Hard Graft Studios” into a triple A game development studio”, said Kynoch. 

When asked what especially interests him about programming, the young developer said that programming allows him to create absolutely anything he can imagine. “I also really enjoy programming because of the challenges and problem-solving situations that it often presents me with”, he added. 

Although Kynoch said he has been programming for a number of years, he has only managed to complete two games, Blast and Torus. He attributes this to reaching a point where he would become bored midway and he would just move on to create the next game. 

Blast was under development for less than two years and it was his first published game. 

However, before this, he created many small games purely for learning purposes and to improve his skills. “These were simple games like top down shooters, arcade games etc. I actually spent a lot more time trying to program advanced applications using sophisticated algorithms such as procedural map generators, fractals, advanced cellular automaton etc”, said Kynoch. 

On the success of his latest game, Torus, Kynoch said that he had expected the game to be a hit, more so than Blast. However, he did not imagine that it would become the viral success that it did. 

“I was absolutely astounded to discover that it was chosen as Game of the Day in 137 countries, and very proud to have received 100 000 downloads in just 24 hours. It was extremely rewarding to have a breakthrough like this after almost 6 years of learning and developing. I am so happy that the world has discovered, and are enjoying my games”, said Kynoch. 

Notably, Torus is available on the App Store (iOS) and is an App Store exclusive. Torus is a free game, with minimal ads or in-app purchases.

Kynoch said that while school keeps him quite busy, he hopes to release one or two more games this year and has a great idea for a new game and that he is excited to start working on in August.

When asked what advice he would give to other aspiring programmers, Kynoch said that he would encourage them to educate and upskill themselves.

“I am completely self-taught and most of the resources were free and found on the internet.  Programming and developing is often extremely challenging, it is important for young developers to just keep working at it, because this is the only way they will get better. No matter how difficult or advanced the problem may seem, you can solve it if you keep trying.  I say this because like any other developer, I couldn’t do anything when I started out 6 years ago, but I found my passion and I have worked extremely hard at teaching myself - this has put me in the position that I am in today”, said Kynoch. 

While Kynoch’s future in programming seems so apparent, he said that he hopes to further his studies in computer science. “I am almost certain that I will continue down the path of programming and game development.  I hope to study computer science at MIT or Stanford.  However, my main aspiration is to grow my one-man studio “Hard Graft Studios” into a triple A game development studio based in America. I also hope to explore other sectors of technology in the future”, concluded Kynoch. 

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